The first UCI Road World Championships took place in 1921. In this first year only ‘amateur’ men were allowed to contest the Championships. By 1927 the Championships took place for the first time for professional men in Nürburgring, Germany. It took until 1958 to introduce the first women’s road race Championships.
The Championships expanded in 1962 with the introduction of the men’s team time trial ( contested by national teams) which would later be replaced by the individual time trial in 1994. In 2012, the team time trial was re-introduced to the program, however, only for professional trade teams. In 2019, the team time trial events were replaced by a mixed relay team time trial.
Until 1995, separate races for men’s professional and amateur riders were conducted. The amateur category was changed to ‘Under-23 Men’ and the professional category became the ‘Elite’ category at this time.
Until 1995 the Championships were conducted in August. Since that time, the Championships have been scheduled in late September, usually following the Vuelta a España.
The location of the Championships changes its host city location each year with the rotation usually seeing Europe host for three (3) years before the 4th being in a non-European host location. This change of location also affects the type of course varying from relatively flat courses favoring cycling sprinters to hilly courses favoring climbing specialists or all-round riders and everything in between.
The UCI Road World Championships, Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France form the Triple Crown of Cycling.
The 2022 UCI Road World Championships will be the 101st edition and only the second time the Championships have been held in the Southern Hemisphere.
The recent and upcoming hosts of the Championships include:
- 2012: Valkenburg, Netherlands
- 2013: Florence, Italy
- 2014: Ponferrada, Spain
- 2015: Richmond, USA
- 2016: Doha, Qatar
- 2017: Bergen, Norway
- 2018: Innsbruck, Austria
- 2019: Harrogate, United Kingdom
- 2020: Aigle and Martigny, Switzerland
- 2021: Bruges and Leuven, Belgium
- 2022: Wollongong, NSW, Australia
Wollongong 2022 was awarded the Championships on October 6 2018. This will be the second time the Championships will be held in Australia with Geelong, Victoria playing host in 2010.
This will be the largest event ever hosted in Wollongong.